Archive for the Content Category
Social Media & The Industrial Technology Buying Cycle

Industrial and manufacturing prospects use media differently than general consumers, to research protracted, complex technology purchases.

In this period of great change and experimentation with emerging media, two things have remained constant within the capital equipment and custom/discrete parts manufacturing industries – the special compliance and corporate requirements of industrial prospects, and the steps they follow through their unique buying cycles.

The stages & steps they follow have remained virtually unchanged throughout the industrial age. While media and communications options have evolved to make their journeys through the cycle more efficient, they’ve remained consistent in following these steps, in virtually the same order.

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3 Steps To Online Marketing Nirvana For Manufacturers

Let’s not kid ourselves.

You’re a small to medium sized manufacturer. You don’t have the budget, time or experience to build out a full-blown, corporate-sized, monolithic integrated marketing strategy.

But to do nothing isn’t an option. Not now. You have to get in the game, or you’ll get smoked.

There are 3 basic steps to building a sustainable & valuable marketing plan. You don’t have to enlist an army of Twitterers or spend thousands on a Herculean Website. But you do have to follow some basic steps. Here are my takes on the big 3.

Follow them in order and you’ll maximize your investment. You’ll  increase the likelihood that you’ll be discovered and engaged by industrial buyers & sourcing professionals looking for your services. AND you’ll give ’em information that sets you apart from your competition.

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Online Marketing For Manufacturers Step 2: Say What’s Important

What does your Website say?

It’s a simple question. But one that leads to other more complex questions.

Does it say what you want? Or does it say what those that you want to work with need to hear about you? Does it give only a high-level, general description of your business – equipment lists, shopfloor pictures, and company history? Or does it take take prospects deeper into what makes you unique.

To paraphrase a friend of mine – you’d better be unique, or you’d better be cheap.

The second step of marketing a manufacturing business online today is your content – that is, what you say about your business to ‘stealth prospects’ that visit your site (and leave) without your knowledge. Here’s how to ensure you can get more business, more attention and give them what they REALLY want.

Here are some content examples for manufacturers’ Web sites that will help you do all that, and build effectively on your base (Step 1).

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8 Ways To Market To The Reshoring Phenomenon

The ongoing reshoring trend is picking up steam. While it’s true that the media is trumpeting reshoring with a bit of hype & rah-rah-ism, the intentions of more US manufacturers to investigate repatriation of production is undeniable. Small & medium manufacturers must adjust their messaging – primarily via their Web presence – to enunciate their value to prospects & the market in contexts that resonate with these reshoring companies. And it’s becoming more critical as 2011 races by. – AJ, 07 JUL ’11

Many, MANY, MANY manufacturing companies in the US have discovered unexpected costs and risks from pursuing low-cost production through extended supply chains. And 1/3 of them say they’re investigating their options to return work to the US. In the past year, reshoring (or backshoring, or inshoring) has slowly evolved from a trickle to a trend. There’s still a long way to go, but it’s happening.

This phenomenon is awfully encouraging, and it offers manufacturers opportunities to market and communicate more effectively – and to get more of that work that’s coming back.

But few are capitalizing on the reshoring momentum, and that’s a shame.

Don’t just expect this trend to drop work in your lap. You can use the force. Present your business as a reshoring rock star to speak to manufacturers investigating their options and you can attract more opportunities and build new (and rebuild old) relationships. And help spread the reshoring message in the process.

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Online Marketing For Manufacturers Step 1: Build Your Base

Let’s imagine you and I were opening a store together. We’ve got the location. We’ve spruced up the building. We’ve upgraded the roads to it and the parking lot around it. We have the advertising in place. The lights are on, and the signs are up and looking great. Our grand opening is tomorrow.

And we haven’t stocked the shelves.

Does this make ANY sense to you? Why would anyone spend so much energy to bring in new customers just to disappoint ’em like that? Do you know how expensive it is to get a turned-off customer back? Yeah, we’d be certifiably crazy to open shop like that.

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